The true value of our award winning radio

VIEWPOINT: In our second opinion piece this week, RTE’s Commercial Director Antony Whittall shares his thoughts on the real value of radio.

The head of an ad agency said for 2013 he would like radio to ‘continue to deliver value’, to which I responded ‘of course’. It did however give me cause for thought about what is value?

The New York Festivals last year gave the radio broadcaster of the year award, for the second time, to RTÉ, as well as a further 25 awards for individual programmes. At the most prestigious radio award ceremony yet again it was proven Irish radio is the best in the whole World. What value should we place on this? We’ve won in Verona, Chicago, Torino and in Hvar, Croatia. We won the Station of the Year at the PPIs – what value should we place on this?

There are many conversations about value and often radio is seen as being ‘of good value’. As a medium it delivers well for the price, and costs relatively little in terms of reach, frequency, impacts and production. Every year we look into the most minute of detail to fine tune Rate Cards to deliver even more value on a highly popular medium; 85% of people; 4 hours a day…but on a medium we all cherish, we all love, is part of who we are – is value about more?

On the day after the budget may people listened to Morning Ireland and Liveline and Drivetime, to find out what happened from a number of perspectives. It was the place to go, to listen. Also one may have chosen Hector, Ryan, Colm, Rick or Will to be cheered up and entertained or flicked across to RTÉ lyric fm, or a local or regional station for a variety of reasons.

The point being that radio, although being a mass medium, is also personal in its truest sense. It is yours, it is your friend, your confidante, your nearest and dearest. It lifts you, it moves you, it is visceral. It is there when you need it, morning, noon and night. Radio is yours and for those closest to us, and we share with those that speak to us. Radio reaches your heart and soul like nothing else. It is the story of our lives and will always be about our hopes and dreams, this year and next, and within that there is true value.

Antony Whittall is Commercial Director of RTÉ Radio

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